UNC/ECSU PharmD Partnership Program graduates 13

Kesha Williams
June 24, 2003

Eleven of 13 graduates from the UNC/ECSU PharmD Partnership Program are expected to remain in North Carolina to work as pharmacists. That's good news for a state with a shortage of pharmacists and a growing population that needs their services.

One of the graduates, Lee Ann Lloyd, remained in Elizabeth City and works at the pharmacy inside Wal-Mart. She worked as a part-time employee for a pharmacy during high school and during undergraduate school. Lloyd worked at the Wal-Mart pharmacy while enrolled in the UNC/ECSU PharmD Partnership Program. There she witnessed the hard work and dedication required. The experience was invaluable.

"I enjoyed chemistry in high school, and knew that a degree in pharmacy would require quite a few chemistry courses. I also knew that being in the health care profession, pharmacists had great job security," Lloyd said. "I just wanted to go to pharmacy school, and I am thankful that I could do that while being close to home."

Lloyd was one of 13 students to earn the Doctor of Pharmacy degree after participating in the UNC/ECSU PharmD Partnership Program. Those graduates joined 143 graduates at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the May 9 commencement in Memorial Hall at UNC-Chapel Hill. The graduates' names appear below:

Ahmed Emad Abrahim, Cary, N.C.
Allison Corinne Bennett, Portland, Ore.
Tyler Dewitt Harlow, Kannapolis, N.C.
Travis Scott Heath, Orlando, Fla.
Jennifer Brynn Spencer Hulbert, Wilmington, N.C.
Lee Ann Lloyd, South Mills, N.C.
Lindsay McCray Page, Rocky Mount, N.C.
Denish Vinod Patel, Charlotte, N.C.
Michelle Joy Ribaudo, Falconer, N.Y.
Alesha Jamel Thomas, Hamlet, N.C.
Allison Morgan Williams, Middlesex, N.C.
Ivan D. Wolanin, Springfield, Mass.
Laura Michele Yarbro, Raleigh, N.C.

Dr. Huyla Coker, director of the UNC/ECSU Doctor of Pharmacy Partnership Program, said the faculty and staff are proud of this graduating class. Three graduates have been selected to Pharmacy Practice or Drug Information Specialty Residencies.

"The first graduates from the Partnership Program have been an extraordinary group of students to work with. They have excelled in the classroom and throughout their advanced professional experiences out in the community. I am extremely proud to now have the privilege of referring to the graduates of the Class of 2010 as my colleagues," Coker said.

Michelle Ribaudo said she enjoyed the program and thought the collaboration between the two universities was a good idea. Ribaudo had worked as a nationally certified (pharmacy) technician previously. That experience assured her she was in the right line of work.

"It felt good to accomplish new things between UNC-Chapel Hill and ECSU, Ribaudo said. " I enjoy helping people understand their medications. I'll work as a retail pharmacist at an independent pharmacy in New York."

Since 2005, the Partnership Program has enrolled 10-15 students per year at the Elizabeth City State University campus. Once enrolled in the PharmD program the student follows an intensive four year curriculum including ten months of professional experience programs. Students in the Partnership Program remain on the ECSU campus for three years of didactic instruction in the professional education program, with the exception of program orientation and special events. Instruction is delivered through synchronous video-teleconferencing with some on-campus instruction and ancillary web-based instruction. This partnership enables the Doctor of Pharmacy degree (PharmD) program to increase the number of graduates each year and to promote increased numbers of pharmacists working in underserved populations, especially in northeastern North Carolina.

The PharmD is neither an undergraduate degree (such as a BS or BA) nor a graduate degree (such as an MS, MBA, or PhD). The doctor of pharmacy is a professional degree for pharmacists similar to the doctor of medicine (MD) for physicians or a doctor of dental surgery (DDS) for dentists.